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Public Statements

Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker. I support the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act. This bill has been improved since it was marked up by the Energy and Commerce and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. I know that there are residual issues that some in the industry and some in the environmental community still have. No legislation will make everyone happy all the time, but I think my colleagues Representatives UPTON and DINGELL, have worked hard to come as close as possible with the legislation before us today. I thank them for their leadership and I am pleased that they have set an example of bipartisan legislating that we should all follow.

Pipeline safety is one that is particularly important to me. I represent parts of Houston and East Harris County, where virtually everyone either lives on, or in close proximity to, a natural gas or oil pipeline. I also have thousands of constituents who rely on this industry for employment and their livelihood. I understand the need to pass a bill that addresses the dual priorities of ensuring safety along these pipelines and providing regulatory certainty for the operators in the years ahead.

There are problems with the bill, for instance, this bill may lead to an attempt by this Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, PHMSA, or future PHMSAs to regulate offshore gathering lines in the same way that onshore lines are regulated. While not prescribed by this legislation, the door is left open. It is important that PHMSA carefully consider how to regulate these lines and not take a one-size fits all approach. There are other tweaks that would have been nice, but this is a good bill and represents a bipartisan compromise.

Failure to pass a bill, or one side or another pursuing a partisan agenda over good policy, would have been far worse than the small problems I have with this bill. I commend Representatives UPTON and DINGELL for this bill and I urge my colleagues to support it.


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